Monday, November 14, 2016

Bad Skin and Violet: a snippet

Hello all,

I have a draft I've forgotten about after nearing its completion, but today, after having difficulty getting out of bed, I finally got up to get ready for class.  The other night, I shared my makeup collection with someone and they asked why and for what reason my collection is the way it is.  Why buy more?  Or rather, why have what I have.  I have my own reasons, and today was one of those reminders.  At times, I have a really hard time feeling ready for the world, to go out and participate in life.  Time and time again, spending time in my rituals of "getting ready" of indulging in beauty has helped push me out the door.  I found a green eye liner in my bin today and decided to play with it, what resulted took much more time than I had planned on spending on my face.  But afterwards, the warmth I derived from allowing creative expression, from trying something I've never tried before, brought a sense of calm at eleven thirty am.  Anyway, this post isn't about that.  This is a brief reflection on my skin.



I've always classified myself as having troubled skin, as a teen, there were times when I would stand in front of the bathroom mirror and cry.  Followed, always, by a deep sense of frustration because I felt that such deep insecurity about skin was so shallow, but also, not being able to move past it.  For a long time, I couldn't accept it.  I hated my skin.  But as years passed, and in truth, my acne subsided, I learned to appreciate my skin.  I was determined to fall in love.  To this day, I still struggle with it.  I'll have bouts of clear skin and even longer periods of breakouts or healing.  Right now, I experiencing one such breakout after trying a new cleansing balm.  Stopping, and then trying again only to be proven that, Yes- my skin does not like this product.  I really enjoyed today's makeup, and yet, when I looked at photos I took to capture the look, I grew upset at how visible all my skins imperfections are.  I could see the raised pumps, and the pores, and the uneveness and it almost took away the pleasure I felt from drawing little white flowers on my lids or blending green into pink.  So I sat and thought about it, and thinking still as I write this.  I grew frantic and wanted to edit out all my blemishes.  But as I thought about it, I couldn't really find a reason as to why I should be so upset with my skin.  I've been fairly diligent in taking care of it after all.  A hormonal or new product based breakout isn't something I could help, so why was I so upset?  So I've decided to post these to share today's look.  My main hope was to document my recently adored use of violet blush as contour as well as showing my first try at a more visual/representative eye look.  In truth, I quite like it, and I end my rambling thoughts and settle at focusing on embracing my skin despite its flaws and continuing to celebrate violet blush as a small and wonderful push to get out of bed.  I've found that many view beauty as trivial, and yet, in its smallness, in its seeming non-necessity, I find myself drawing such delight and courage from it.   In truth, it might be through delving into beauty and its practice that I grew more and more comfortable in my own skin.  May it be spending an hour and a half on a precisely executed eye liner and red lipstick look or the minute it takes to put on sunscreen, it is in allowing myself the space and time to play and paint that I fell in love.  I answered that person that I firmly and wholeheartedly find the participation in beauty to be magical, transformative and in truth, beautiful.  Here is where we afford ourselves a time to experiment and play- to fall in love, blemish, pores, freckles, acne scars and whatever may have the sincere pleasure of gracing your face and body-  and all. 

I've used two violets for my contour and highlight.  The contour is Hello Waffle's Royale with Cheese and the highlight is Dreamworld's Sister of Swans.  I've used the contour many many times now and still haven't grown tired of it.  I'm eager to buy more violet and blue blushes and am glad to give this technique a second try after disliking it the first time I tried it a couple years ago.  I've since stopped using the balm, and am continuing my trials in incorporating The Ordinary Retinoid 2.0 Serum and Biologique Recherche's p50 lotion. 





Monday, October 24, 2016

Current Favourites: Autumn, 2016

Hello all,

The following paragraph is a large block of text on life and not at all concerned with autumn favourites!  I'll mark it with asterisks if you so wish to skip to some words on currently loved skincare and makeup!

*********
It's been almost a year since my last post.  And I miss this small slice of internet of mine.  So much and so little has happened since my last post.  It feels grand yet considerably small as well.  I've recently turned twenty-one and began my third year in university in the past couple of months.  Today, after taking photos for this post, I was struck with the fact that my bio still said "19".  Time is rather unforgiving.  The final semester of last year was a breath of fresh air that breathed into the summer.  The summer months were filled with new bright things like travel and falling deeper in love with some of my friendships.  It was also re-discovering the city that is, for intents and purposes, half of Hometown.  It was learning so much about myself and those around me, there were many humbling moments, and moments in a dark room during sunrise after a night of dancing and moments in the back of a car realizing how small and beautiful life is (or can be)  Thus far, this new semester has proved challenging, in fact, and I hesitate to say it but it has been the most challenging.  I find myself questioning my capabilities, wondering about my capacity as a person and as a student.  When I was beginning university, I had received a letter that at the time (or perhaps even now) broke my heart, and there's a line in that letter that I haven't forgotten.  Something like, "I'm in my downswing right now I hope yours is on the upswing".  I am often confused about my outlook, berating myself for being so indulgent during the down days, but find myself in bed thinking that it's okay to say Today I will take care of myself by staying in bed all day and getting rest and reading a good book and painting.  But I think a large part of self-care is being able to get up in the morning, showering, getting dressed and participating in the responsibilities, in the life that is at times so heavy, so seemingly impossible to overcome.  I have many days when I feel like I just can't get out of bed.  Yet I remain, (ever so) hopeful.  It's easy to be defeated, crestfallen, and all those words dipped into liquid lead and mottled unclear water, but sometimes the air smells so strongly of possibility.  I would like to think that these years, these times of warring with myself will end, but until then, I will continue to grow from it, become stronger from it.  I am still conflicted on the balance between the stay in bed self-care and the get up and do things and be A Real Human Being self-care but I am learning each day.  I will continue to learn each day.

*********

OKAY.  So, these past few months (the summer and the couple of months back at uni) have resulted in some sustained favourites, and a few that I've only recently grown fond of.  Over the summer, I traveled and left a majority of my collection in storage.  I would like to think that I grew to appreciate a more limited selection.  In any case here are some products I've been truly enjoying recently.



La Mer The Powder: I've been using the Estee Lauder re-nutriv powder for so long that I thought I might try other loose powders.  I've since tried the infamous Laura Mercier loose powder, Ben Nye luxury powder, and the Coty Airspun.  I enjoy each of these for specific things, the Laura Mercier for mattifying, the Ben Nye for a little colour as I have it in one of the sand colours.  Admittedly, I've used the Coty a lot less than the others, mostly because the smell is quite strong.  I enjoy the La Mer powder the most because it's brightening and leaves my face at a natural and soft finish as compared to a truly matte finish.  Recently I've also been really interested in trying the RCMA powder, as well as By Terry's Hydra powder.

Diorblush Sculpt:  I really enjoyed this compact over the summer.  It's a very subtle contour and highlight on my skin.  I would repurchase this especially since I've even hit pan on the highlight.  I use this alone for a subtle look, or to blend out a more intense contour. 


Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Powder
:  Ahhhhhhhh, Les Beiges.  Light of life!  This is such a wonderfully soft and velvety powder.  I bought this for the outer perimeter on my face to warm it up after foundation and powder.  I wouldn't finish my make up with this powder, but it's feather light and perfect for what I use it for.  Also, how can one not love such an elegant compact?  I have this in shade 40.




Rimmel Lasting Finish foundation: This is probably one of the only foundations I've truly enjoyed from the drugstore.  In the past I've liked the Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous foundation (the one with the blue pump) and the Wet n Wild Cover All, and recently I've been trying the L'Oreal pro-matte.  However, this Rimmel foundation was such a pleasant surprise.  It's a medium buildable coverage that feels good on the skin even after hours of wear.  My only hopes would be for a pump and a wider shade selection, as even the darkest shade they over in the states is a tad too light.  I feel that the drugstore is really lacking in offering a more comprehensive deeper shade range both in hues and undertones.  I wouldn't even mind if Rimmel offered even one truly deep shade, then one could at least mix.  I own the shade True Beige.

Missha Perfect Cover BB cream
:  I'm not sure if this breaks me out, but I really enjoy this formula for when I don't want to wear foundation.  I've worn this a lot more than any other BB cream I've tried, and sometimes use it under a cushion foundation.  I don't wear this alone, but have found that it adds moisture to my skin even under copious amounts of a matte foundation or powder.  I guess I use this BB cream more as a primer more than anything, but I still enjoy it on its own.  Though, I wouldn't wear this without powder simply because of how rich the formula is. I wear shade 27.

Cle de Peau concealer
:  Am I ever going to be disappointed by Cle de Peau?  Maybe last year's inclusion of nail polish in the fall/winter collection.  But this concealer is the opposite.  I've tried this in the past and recently repurchased after feeling ambivalent about the Marc Jacobs pot concealer.  I don't have much to say apart from the stellar lightweight smoothness and cover of this concealer.  I wear Honey.




Hello Waffle blush:  I have this in a wonderful violet colour, I use it as a contour when I want to mimic "tonal" shadow that leans closer to warm/violet shadow rather than the cooler grey grown/taupe colours or the warm red browns of bronze shades.  In watercolour, one is able to use violet as a glaze in adding shadow and depth when painting deeper skin tones.  I adopted this technique, and have enjoyed the few times I've tried it.

Shu Uemura Hard Formula eyebrow pencil: I had an intense lover affair with this pencil last summer when I bought it in Seoul.  I stopped using it because I could not find a single Shu Uemura pop up shop or counter in the states.  This is an incredible pencil and I will continue to repurchase it.  I've since sharpened it with a regular sharpener and it's just not the same.  I think apart from the excellent formula, the "Samurai" sharpening of this pencil is one of the integral components as to why it's so DANG good.  I've watched a few videos on how to do it yourself, but it's a bit terrifying.  Maybe I'll try it, I'll definitely write about that experience and whether or not I end up cutting my thumb off. 

Fyrinnae eye shadow in Polar Bear:  Fyrinnae has always been a constant and enduring favourite every since I began using indie shadows in high school.  I still remember the very first order I made and how excited I was for Serendipity.  Polar Bear is a beautiful inner corner high light, and general ethereal gold shade.  This summer I was enamored with wearing this with all the warm toned red/brown looks I wore.  Transitioning into the cooler months, I still find myself reaching for this shade.  Fyrinnae's formula is, after all just generally beautiful.  Apart from them, I would say Dreamworld has never disappointed. 


Rouge Dior in Zinnia Red: Ah.  What a big surprise right?  Not really.  I believe this lipstick was in my last favourites post a couple years ago.  Perhaps rivaled only by Cle de Peau's red or La Prairie, though both lean more matte, and this is definitely more of a cream.   As such I refrain from making the comparison. I have tried a handful of other reds, some really extraordinary and some falling between good and Never to be worn again, doomed to the bottom of the box.  However, this has persisted because of the shade and the formula.  I'm still not the fondest of the matte liquid lipstick phenomenon and as such, my favourite lipsticks are still often that of the more traditional formula.  I don't know what else to say about my dearest Zinnia Red... it's a staple for me.  Although, I should note a contender not pictured here.  By chance I picked up the Mia Wallace red lipstick from Urban Decay...a brand that I've never really gravitated to purely because I'm very rarely in Sephora.  Anyway, I was so pleasantly surprised by that lipstick, it's not as smooth as Rouge Dior, but that specific colour is very sumptuous and the formula is incredibly long wearing.

Charlotte Tilbury in Birkin Brown
: I recently tried Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Foundation and find that I really... don't like it very much.  Perhaps I haven't given it a chance, but in the handful of times that I have, it pales to my tried and true rotation.  Anyway, I have dissimilar feelings for this lipstick.  The formula is so light, and applies effortlessly on the lips.  It's long wearing and this specific shade is one I do not own.  After discovering an affection for more neutral colours this past year (thanks to the following Cle de Peau lipstick and rediscovering an old high school treasure, Estee Lauder's Woodland Berry) I found myself looking for shades of pink, neutral, and browns.  I'm still looking, especially for these brown shades.

Cle de Peau in ???
: Unfortunately I never keep packaging and I don't have the number of this lipstick.  It's a gorgeous "neutral" lip colour for me, the colour I wish my lips were when I wake up in the morning.  I don't have much to say.  My adoration with Cle de Peau began with their lipsticks, and this one is no different in its incredible luxury formula that is both lightweight, pigmented and long wearing whilst still applying and wearing beautifully on the lips.  I could continue to wax poetic, but maybe I'll save that for when I talk about my renewed love for their extra silky line. 

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor in Amour
: I'm so excited by this product!  A friend from uni bought one of these and shared positive feelings.  I was rushing out of the store when a display of new colours caught my eye.  I have this in two varying red shades and really enjoy the formula and wear.  It's in between a liquid cream lip colour and a matte liquid lipstick.  But the wear is really comfortable and my lips feel almost plush when I wear it.  I'm definitely keen to try other colours and will do so sooner than later.  I find myself really enjoying this type of formula, where it's unlike the quintessential matte liquid lipstick that dries down entirely- to discomfort at times.  The L'Oreal matte lip glosses are similar and are also really lovely.  Those are exquisite but less long wearing than the Revlon. 



Laneige Lip Mask: I have always had trouble with dry or chapped lips.  Especially because I wear lipstick so much.  I've enjoyed this and keep it at my desk.  I use the Clinique lip balm when I'm outside because it comes in a more convenient tube.  However, I find that they moisturize my lips similarly, although this Laneige one is very scented.  However, I'm not the fondest of the tub packaging, especially for a product one might use multiple times a day.  The little tub is rather inconvenient.

Vivterskin Sunscreen: I am a massive supporter of sun protection.  I believe that good sun protection is vital to the skin's health.  This was gifted to me and I really enjoy it.  It's more moisturizing than my previously adored sunscreens (Elta MD UV Clear and Biore UV Aqua Rich) which is both good and bad, good in that it provides that extra moisture and bad in that sometimes I forego a moisturizer in the morning when I'm in a rush.

Estee Lauder Nutritious Vitality8 Radiant Energy Lotion Intense Moist: What a mouthful but:  Ahhhhhhhh I've been trying the Nutritious Vitality8 line these past two months and I really really enjoy it.  From my trials, I would certainly purchase this light lotion and the night cream in full size.  The light lotion is something I use in the morning if I want something lighter under my sunscreen and makeup.  Apart from that, when I layer this under the night cream in the evening, I wake up with such supple skin. 

And that's it!  I'm sure there's an odd one or two that I'm missing, but for the most part these have been such treats.  I recently tried a new cleansing balm (following the Kose deep cleansing oil) and it broke out my skin.  As such, makeup has taken a back seat to trying to repair the damage.  I've really focused on a basic regimen, while slowly adding in my actives.  (Recently: the Biologique Recherche P50 Lotion)   I really enjoyed (though at times grew frustrated) working with a limited set of makeup in the summer and find myself almost overwhelmed now that I'm back in university.  After recently taking my things out of storage I am astounded by how many eye shadows I've forgotten I have. 

Years have passed now since I first dipped my toes in red lipstick and the world the followed it.  But I still find myself finding such a deep and wonderful pleasure in getting ready (and in the evenings, un-ready).  It's silly to think that a good eye shadow look, or wearing a favourite red lipstick brings me such joy and confidence, but then again, what's so silly about partaking in the rituals that make us feel beautiful? Capable?  Able.  I am so deeply grateful for those I love and their love, as I am grateful for the spark of giddiness I feel when I finish my makeup with that final step in lipstick.

Thank you for reading!
Till next time.

P.S. Today was a rainy day and it felt good as good to get out of bed and into the rain, as it did to lie in bed under the covers with the windows wide open.

  Recently, I've been wondering about body politics.  In my university there are some that make rather foul jokes, comments, statements both online and in person to the student body regarding the body, feminism, sexuality and such matters related.  These sentiments are often housed under the encasement of "humour".  Often times, I find myself upset with them and what they say.  Am I being hyper sensitive?  Are they really just being funny?  Why do I now feel so unsettled with the safety of my person on this campus?  As someone who believes in the free internal and external expression of the self in all its capacity, I feel rage at the the culture perpetuated by these people who declare "Tits or GTFO" and "Why are you wearing nothing, might as well wear nothing", I feel rage that this space is made to feel unsafe by such petty things like reckless and "humourous" language.  But then I wonder if it's just me.  I even have a considerable amount of fear and hesitation in putting this specific photo up.  I wonder if I'm showing too much skin, if it's appropriate for my blog...if this...if that.  And I wonder what validity these worries have.  This is after all my space, but a space on a space that is public and highly accessible.  Technology does not throw anything away in its boundless memory after all.  Anyway, just a bite of thought.  This was a skirt that I had saved especially for a rainy day and I was so excited to wear it today.  I paired it with this lavender bralette and a maroon sweater, later to be topped with a wool shawl in the most delicious red shade trimmed with fox fur.  I felt good in this, under the rain, in the cool air... and yet I couldn't shake the handful of times I've been confronted by these worries on my campus.  It is my wonder why so many people are so concerned with bodies that are not their own. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Overnight; A Snippet


Good evening all, 

          Last night I did the worst thing I can probably do to my skin.  I slept in a full face of makeup.  (I know! It's awful!)  BUT, I was really really surprised when I got up this morning to wash it all away and slather my face in moisturizer to see that so much of it stayed put throughout the night.  That is to say now I'm an even bigger fan of some of the things I  use.  Thank you, Primers!  In any case I actually have photos of my look from the evening and this morning.  It's evident that violet and brown eyes with red lips is still my most comfortable look.





I'm wearing Darling Girl primer, with some indie shadows.  I layered Bobbi Brown gel eye liner over a marker type liquid eyeliner from Sephora.  I'm wearing Cle de Peau mascara layered over Heroine Make, and on my brows I have the usual Chinovi brow powder.  And as always, I'm wearing Cle de Peau's radiant fluid foundation topped with Laura Mercier translucent powder.  

On my lips I was wearing Mirabella's matte crayon, which, while staying put incredibly well, dries my lips out rather badly.  I am forever searching for a matte lipstick that feels like Guerlain's Rouge G...

Till next time,
Thank you for reading this little snippet! 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Barefaced and Gilded




Hello all,

It's a Sunday night and today's weather was absolutely beautiful.  Near perfect, even.  I am nearing the end of this semester of the second year of university and I'm not sure where time went.  These past couple of months my skin has been so so so so dismal and there have been times when all I want to do is to either slather my face with foundation or cry.  But lately I've been thinking about how down one can get due to the state of their skin.  Many criticize this feeling or worry as shallow or vain, but I find that there's no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed in worrying about one's skin (whether it be how their makeup looks, or how healthy the skin is, or if they're wearing enough sun protection that day) and even less reason to make someone feel ashamed or embarrassed for being insecure or worse yet, for having "bad" skin in the first place.  Suffice it to say, in the realm of one's personal well being, there just isn't or shouldn't be much room for judgment or malice for someone who is genuinely wanting to improve.  

So yes hello my name is Erika Tri and I have photos dating back to middle school captioned "shallow insecurity: skin".  Recently I've been feeling a lot different about my skin in that I'm no longer terrified of having the world see my bare skin (I'm still working on myself, haha).  I find myself feeling comfortable if not preferring  wearing nothing on my skin but sunscreen.  Although, as always it is rare that I forego lipstick.  But in terms of the entire routine of base, primer, foundation, concealer, powder, blush (and contour??? still not sure how this one works)...powder again...... these past couple of weeks I've mostly been barefaced.  In any case, I'm trying to find myself comfortable with going out without the safety net of my dearest CdP founation.  In any case, here are some photos of a sans foundation kinda day :) 



I've been feeling so terrible about the current state of my skin that some days I'm not sure if I forgo foundation in an attempt to overcome this feeling or am waving a white flag to my ever present spots.  Days like today make me feel a bit more courageous.  I know I'm not entirely barefaced but I recently got a new lip crayon and I'm a bit enamored with it.  AND it's been so long since I've doodled gold!  




Also also also!  A few weeks ago I discovered a new favourite thrift shop in Laguna Beach, I picked up this top for two dollars! (?!!?) I find that they have such a lovely selection every time I go and it's so close to a sweet gelato shop down the street, what more can one ask for? Everything else is from Discovery Shop in uni's town.

This weekend I have found a bit of quiet and peace.  I've learned to refocus on the things that make me feel full and warm, and I've re-remembered how truly blessed I am.  I've been terribly homesick and I miss my mother quite a bit, and there are still days, but I've rekindled my love for reading and painting and peace in solitude.  And it feels kind of nice.  Last night I was speaking with a friend, and admitting to him how full I felt, how different it felt to breathe and smile.  I admitted that I was still fully aware of how transient this feeling or state of being can be, but in a moment of warmth and in a moment of grateful serendipity, I wholeheartedly accept it.

Thank you for reading,
Until next time!
Erika

Monday, September 28, 2015

Blue Period? Hello, I am on hiatus!


It seems I have entered my blue period,

Hello! I've been elsewhere recently, my second year of university has begun and it's been rather hectic. I have not forgotten about this little space of mine, tucked in an unknown corner of the vast world wide web, but I have neglected it.  For that I am sorry.

What has happened?  A little bit of heartache and confusion, a bit of haze, the feeling of being lost (And still finding) and of course the ever present pressure of school.  Currently, I am meant to be preparing for a chemistry test, but why not a post????

Recently I have faced difficulties that I just could not (at that time) manage. I felt defeated, dejected and utterly devastated.  I reeled at the fact that I wasn't strong enough, "shouldn't I be?"  There was a brief time where this swallowed me.  It seemed that my year was off to a bad start, I was disheartened, "How can this be my new beginning?"  But these demons had familiar faces, and although the crook of their nose or the slant of their eyelids differed slightly, I knew that for the most part I have already survived this.  And I will continue to do so.  I am not afraid of appearing weak or of soft heart (because maybe I am) but I am also not afraid to wake up the next day.  And the day after that.  I forget sometimes that my void is not conquest.  I cannot strong will may way into contentment or happiness or even the ever awful "okay", each day I must greet it, say hello, I know you're there, but so am I.  Living and breathing and aching and being.  I've come to peace with the fact that some days will be worse than others.

But enough about that.  My first week back at uni a friend and I volunteered at a blogger party, we ended up getting the give away bags the bloggers received and from that bag were a few fun goodies that I am only now trying.

One of them I tried today, that being Crown Brushes "Pure Exposed" eye shadow palette.  I'm not one for palettes, being a big fan of indie my favourite eye colours come in loose powder form, other than that I enjoy eye crayons.  As such, I don't have much to compare it to.  I've purchased Naked palettes and like products for friends (And have been time and time again been tempted by Guerlain.....), so I was quite excited to receive this.  I tried it for the first time today and had quite a bit of fun, here's what I came up with:





I haven't been as keen to wear makeup of late.  Over the summer I fell into the skincare rabbit hole (coming out of it with a routine I am rather fond of and the possibility for future experimentation) and soon grew more focused on that rather than colour makeup.  Of course I still relish in going through the whole routine of putting on a full face of makeup (there's just something therapeutic and transformative about the beauty ritual).  


Here I am wearing 19 on my lid with a bit of 21 in the center of the lid as well as the inner corner.  On my crease is a combination of 22 and 17, with 24 at the ends of the outer v.  On my browbone I patted on 13.  

Some thoughts on the shadows themselves: Definitely wouldn't say these are my favourite.  Aside from the portability and convenience of the palette (and a dual ended brush) I wouldn't reach for these verrrrryyy often.  There were a couple reasons why these didn't quite impress.  For one the pigmentation is lacking, there's an almost powdery quality to the shadows.  From pressed shadows I prefer a more velvet texture of soft pressed shadows that are richly pigmented.  These were drier and kicked up a lot of loose powder and weren't as pigmented as I hoped.  However, in a pinch they will do especially if accompanied by an eye primer!  The colour selection of the palette is pretty nice, although I wish they had a matte warm brown.  I do like that there are both shimmer and matte shades.  The wear time is also fairly nice, now at the end of my day, the shadows do show wear but have stayed mostly in place.  One thing I really liked from this was that it taught me to appreciate the ease of a palette, where I am now left with wanting others.  And perhaps I will, although I don't think I need anymore eye shadow at this point.

The rest of my makeup is the standard.  Over a weekend trip to Seattle I left my Visionnaire foundation in the hotel, and was without it for the rest of the summer.  That was rather unfortunate.

I am wearing Cle de Peau's Radiant Fluid Foundation and Estee Lauder's Re-Nutriv loose powder.  On my brows I have my new found love, Shu Uemura's hard formula pencil.  I'm wearing Bobbi Brown's black gel eye liner and Heroine Make mascara.  On my lips I have a random lipstick whose name I cannot recall (oops).  I've been without a setting spray for awhile now and I quite miss it.

In any case, this has become a novella.  I've said that this blog is in hiatus, and I am not yet in a place to say otherwise (sadly, enough).

Till next time!
Erika

P.S. I had an elaboration on the whole notion of a blue period, but I think I'm still in the process of thinking on that.

Monday, June 22, 2015

"Don't you regret it? Don't you miss it??? You're crazy!" On hair.



Hello all!

Today is less about skincare or beauty (posts coming up!) and more about hair (Two posts about hair?!  What!!!).  I'm currently at home in the Philippines spending the summer with my family and have received the same range of questions from "Why did you cut your hair?" to "Are you crazy?!"

And so I wanted to reflect on my decisions pertaining to my hair, as it was more than just a jarring change in my "aesthetic" or my "image"...whatever that could mean.  My long hair has become as much a part of my external self as my glasses, as the way I dress or the fact that I love red lipstick.  Erika has long hair, Erika wears glasses and red lipstick and sometimes likes to dress kookily.   Above is a picture from my senior year of high school, a very good friend of mine and I saying our good byes to our favourite place on campus.  I am always speaking of turbulent change and of difficult transition, but this photo was taken at a time of heart breaking and stagnant inner-turmoil and lows.  Although graduation was coming, I was still stuck in a place of darkness.  I was excited to move away from home, to hopefully get away, to "be better".  But I forgot what has became a self-truth, wherever I go, however far I travel, I bring myself with me.  I in my entirety, I and my circumstance, cannot be left behind.  My first year at college was trying.  Difficult, even, the vibrant and life altering change that  I so hungered for did not come and I had forgotten my mantra.  A change in geography does not mean a change in "I".  I had forgotten that the people I am with and the soil that I step on or even the skin that turns over every month does not mean that I have changed.  And I so desperately wanted to.
And so I cut my hair.  And at the very end of the second semester, I cut it again, the shortest it has ever been.  I wanted to lose the hair that sometimes smelled of smoke, lose the hair that caressed the sea breeze, lose the hair that various hands have touched, have pulled, have stroked, have commented with, "You have such beautiful hair, I love your hair".  This was the hair that was there, absorbing, flowing, combing through my years in high school, my first year in college.  And I wanted it gone.  This was the hair pulled into a bun every morning as I got ready for school, the hair that was braided for my first attempts in volleyball, the hair that I brushed every morning and allowed the wind to dance through on my daily bike ride to school.  This was the hair that met the beach for the first time as a college student, the hair that almost drowned with me at Newport beach, this was the hair pinned and plaited and pulled into bouquets with dried sunflowers and yellow roses.  This was the hair that soaked in tears and bath water on those nights spent on the bathroom floor.  And I wanted it gone.  Not in the sense that I regret or that I "hate" my hair, or dislike the memories that it holds, in fact it's quite the opposite.  My hair carries the remnants of my history.  It has been there shedding and growing and all in my lowest of lows, in my blackest of blacks.  My hair has tangled with my personal void.  It has been a companion, it has gotten to know my demons.  And for that I am grateful.  But I am also ready to face a new chapter without carrying all of that weight (both literally and figuratively).  I have been constantly warring with myself for the past almost decade, and though I forget nothing, I throw away nothing, or even, leave nothing behind, I hope to move forward without the regrets.  The constant reminders of all the should have could have would have's.  Changing my hair drastically does not change me, but it does, like donning new shoes, or wearing a bright red lipstick, help me wake up in the morning feeling a little more like the "I" I am aspiring to be.

I do apologize for the block of text, but this morning I awoke with the want to reflect.
Thank you for reading,
till next time!

P.S.


My hair is currently impossibly short (much shorter in the back!) and though I am at a loss as to what to do with it, I rather enjoy it, if anything it is entertaining.  And most importantly, I am so very excited to have it grow with me, experience this life with me with all its shedding and growing and all.

**In the first photo I am wearing Cle de Peau's skin refining foundation in 06 with their powder foundation and the Estee Lauder re-nutriv powder.  In the second photo I am wearing Lancome's Teint Visionnaire with Lancome Dual Finish Versatile.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Upon a World Lookbook

Hello all!

Today I have something fun to share!  I received The Wanderer collection from Manuela which is a lovely collection of neutral/wearable colours.  I was quite excited to try it all out and so decided to do a few looks using only the collection.  Unfortunately, I don't have swatches as I'm currently on holiday for the summer but I was able to get some pictures of the looks I did whilst still in school!  In any case here are the looks:




 This is the first look I wish to share.  I really like this collection for the most part.  There's a good variety of medium/darker colours and one or two light colours.  However, my biggest criticism with the colour selection is that those two light colours are a frosty white and a silver.  It would have been nice to see a peach or a champagne.  The shadows are quite pigmented and adheres and blends well!  I don't recall any issues with patchiness or non-ease in blending and found that the shadows stayed on my lids without creasing or traveling.  I use Darling Girl's Primped and Primed primer solely.



The second time I tried the shadows, I came up with this.  However, I had a really off day with eye liner and ended up with something completely different :'( (note that my entire eyelid is covered in smeary black eye liner) (note to SELF: do not be adventurous in eye liner choice when you come up with an eye look that you really enjoy)



The third look was my night at the museum look :) The Getty in LA was hosting a college night of art, live music, and food (things I am quite keen on) and I went.  The eye shadows did not budge all night!  I even got a compliment on how "the light caught on my eyelids".  This is to say that this collections has rather shimmery colours.  There are no matte shades in this!  And although this would have added a nice variety to the collection, I don't think it subtracts from it terribly much  The collection itself is still rather versatile, and personally as an indie shopper I rarely purchase entire collections but rather, pick and choose colours rather than purchasing entire collections for a theme or some such.  It would be interesting to see Upon a World to release some matte shades seeing how much I enjoyed the shimmery shades :) 


















Often I forget that for the most part my makeup is couple with what I decide to wear on that particularly day or evening.  I rarely take photos of my outfits now that I'm less focused on what I wear.  In any case, I found this potato photo of what accompanied the eye look I came up with that day.  Even makeup these past few weeks has lost a bit of its luster and excitement for me, so I'm quite thankful that this collection came in the mail as it encouraged me to have a bit of fun with makeup again!

The last look is slightly similar to the first and probably my favourite.  In that I found the colours I really liked from the collection.  The Avenger and The Side-Kick are one's that I would purchase in a full size because of how much I gravitated towards them whenever I decided "Today is an Upon a World day!"  As for a surprise contender, Blood Runs Red would have to be that colour.  I'm not partial to reds only because I'm at a bit of a loss when it comes to incorporating them into looks, however I found that this played really well with the other colours.  This speaks to the unity of the collection and although I had a problem with the lighter shades, I think those apart from that two (The Officer and The Vixen) I think the shade selection of this collection is fairly harmonious and diverse.  I'm a very big fan of mid tones and darker colours and so this collection worked particularly well for me.  :)  My only caveat would be the necessity (At least for me) to supply these colours with some lighter hues, again perhaps a champagne or a peach, a transition colour if you may.

Some final thoughts: Overall I REALLY enjoyed playing with these colours and am so grateful to Manuela for giving me the opportunity to try her lovely shadows!  I hope her the best and will be closely watching what she releases and where she moves forward with her sparkly endeavor.  These shadows blend like a dream and are quite pigmented.  Most importantly, I found that they did not crease throughout wear and had a pretty good longevity on the eyes.  I enjoyed this experience and hopefully you found even a fraction of this lookbook helpful or at least found entertainment in my ridiculous selfiezz.  I would recommend Upon a World and found this experience to be overwhelmingly positive.

Additionally, Manuela's website is super cute and fairly easy to navigate (which I know some people take into consideration).  The illustrations are also rather charming ><

Samples are $ 1.00
Full Sizes are $ 6.00

Her shop can accessed via Upon a World ! :)

Thank you so much for reading,
I do hope you have a lovely day

Till next time!